The Maha Sivaratri festivities at the second Jyotirlinga of the country, Srisailam Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy temple, were held on a massive scale on Friday. Special pujas were offered to the presiding deities on the eighth day of the 11-day Brahmotsavams.
Rudrabhishekam was done for over four hours by 11 archakas and Veda pandits. Earlier, Nandi Vahanaseva was conducted.
Later in the night, the wedding of presiding deities Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba was performed on a grand scale.
Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao along with Transport and I&PR Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) visited the temple.
With over 3 lakh devotees arriving on Friday, the waiting time for darshan had also gone up. According to authorities, the free darshan took six to eight hours while those who bought tickets could complete the darshan in three to four hours.
While the police had a tough time managing the huge crowd at the temple, there were no untoward incidents reported.
Devotees complained about accommodation shortage and many were seen sleeping on the roads. However, unlike the previous year, the traffic and hygiene issues seem to have been addressed.
The temple executive officer K.S. Ramarao along with Collector G. Veerapandian and Superintendent of Police Fakkerappa kept a watch over the proceedings from the command control room
Devotees also thronged the other major Siva temples across the district including the Mahanandeeswara temple at Mahanandi, Uma Maheswara temple at Yaganti and Kolanu Bharathi temple at Atmakur.